Ask the Ref.

StillNeutral

New member
Injury time - wrestler was injured during match. Ref stops it and tells the table to start injury time. Table puts 2 minutes on the scoreboard clock (seen by the wrestlers and crowd). With 1 minute left, ref says to the coach that clock was set wrong and the wrestler actually only has 30 seconds remaining. The coach asks the wrestler if he can continue. He says yeah, stands up, snaps headgear and walks to center and both wrestlers get in stance. (Looked at clock there was 36 seconds left as he steps in center circle - so 6 seconds according to the refs time). Ref walks to them, says shake hands, match is over time expired. Both wrestlers and coaches were confused and ref wouldn't even go to the table as the coach tried to inquire about it. Really never seen anything like this happen before. Never asked the wrestler if he was continuing nor gave an update on time. Injured wrestler was winning 6-0 at the time. Does the ref have an obligation to ask the wrestler as time is expiring and/or give an update on time?
I would have liked to seen this scenario, as an official I have several questions.
1. Was this the first injury timeout?
2. Was it a injury to the head/neck area?
Now as I wasn't there, and didn't speak to this official I cant say why he would do that, im not going to speculate and throw a official under the bus, but the situation as described Id almost have to have seen it to understand why. All I can comment on is that I will stand near the coaches and let them know, coach 1 min has passed, or coach you have 45 seconds remaning, and will increase as the time gets under 30 seconds, 20 sec, 15 etc. There may be some gray area and different officials may interpret it differently. ive asked state rules interpreters this questions and it gets into a gray area somewhat of judgment. Some may say if your not back in the center ready to wrestle when time expires your done, others like me, if it does hit 1:30 ill ask the coach yes or no, and if he is going to continue , if so get to center quickly, no excess coaching or stretching a leg out etc, and I will inform coaches that another injury timeout will end the match as you have no time left. As I said some guys will go strictly by the book, and others may be a tad more leinent. What ive seen in the rule and case book, is that if a wrestler reaches the end of time, they have to make a decision wether or not to wrestle and proceed without hesitation. If you check, rule 3-1 article 14, it will cover the referee duties during this.
 

StillNeutral

New member
Seen this twice this weekend both in OT, can someone provide me with the framework for the appropriate amount of “reaction time” or some type of guidelines for evaluating it. Both scenarios it appeared that two different wrestlers secured a takedown but the referees allowed for reaction time negating the 2 in on circumstance and essentially allowing for what can only be described as reversal in another circumstance
From my opnion of reaction time, Im looking for definitive control of loss of control by either wrestler. Generally for me at least 1 second, no more than 2. Ill give a few examples.
If wrestler A is behind wrestler B and forces him to the mat in a neutral situation, and the hands hit the mat and he bounces right up from it I have nothing, now if wrestler B hold his hand on the mat for 1 to 2 seconds and A is securing him from behind ill award 2.
If wrestler A catches wrestler B with a head and arm(say they are hip to hip at this point) and starts to break him past 90 degrees, i generally will hold that call for a second as many kids will roll through with this, or if he starts to loose the head or arm, ill wait till they regain full control, for me once i see control is met and they have broken 90, or even 45 for near fall, past at least one second i will award 2, or award and begin counting near fall.
Now I didnt get to see either circumstance, But sometimes if a wrestler is still moving , ie , they are on the mat and wrestler A is trying to cover wrestler B, im looking for that wrestler to show me he has 3 points covered and is in definitive control for at least a second or 2.
Some refs may call this quicker than others, some slower. The rule book states that one wrestler must have restraning power over another. I know this sometimes can be a grayish area, but think also, if a kid locks hands around the waist to return, we give them reaction time to release generally a second or two, this is the philosophy i tend to follow
 

mlagdd

Member
I would have liked to seen this scenario, as an official I have several questions.
1. Was this the first injury timeout?
2. Was it a injury to the head/neck area?
Now as I wasn't there, and didn't speak to this official I cant say why he would do that, im not going to speculate and throw a official under the bus, but the situation as described Id almost have to have seen it to understand why. All I can comment on is that I will stand near the coaches and let them know, coach 1 min has passed, or coach you have 45 seconds remaning, and will increase as the time gets under 30 seconds, 20 sec, 15 etc. There may be some gray area and different officials may interpret it differently. ive asked state rules interpreters this questions and it gets into a gray area somewhat of judgment. Some may say if your not back in the center ready to wrestle when time expires your done, others like me, if it does hit 1:30 ill ask the coach yes or no, and if he is going to continue , if so get to center quickly, no excess coaching or stretching a leg out etc, and I will inform coaches that another injury timeout will end the match as you have no time left. As I said some guys will go strictly by the book, and others may be a tad more leinent. What ive seen in the rule and case book, is that if a wrestler reaches the end of time, they have to make a decision wether or not to wrestle and proceed without hesitation. If you check, rule 3-1 article 14, it will cover the referee duties during this.
Thank you for your reply and insight. I wish someone would have gotten the entire incident on film, but not thinking that part was important, video was paused.
1. Yes it was the first injury timeout.
2. No, it was a knee/ankle (he's leg was twisted/pulled at an awkward angle).

What you are describing (counting down, asking the wrestler if he can continue) are all the things I have seen done before. I have seen a wrestler laying down and the ref will come over and ask if they are continuing. It just seemed so crazy to me that the wrestler is up, snapping head gear and walking to the center and the ref doesn't say anything until both wrestler are in the stance. I recognize that it is a hard job and most refs have good intentions, doing the best they can. I have been involved in this sport for a long time and this was a first for me. It felt like their was a personal agenda by the ref, but I didn't want to assume without know what a ref is required to do.

I looked up the rulebook and it states (thanks for pointing me in that direction):

Mechanics of the Injury, Blood and Recovery Time: The mechanics will vary on these three situations depending on what facilitates the stoppage.
o At most levels of competition the table has a stop watch for the different times.
o Signals on the mat should be directed towards the table using the color for the stoppage time.
o Timer will start the stopwatch.
o The referee should stay in the middle or near the injured wrestler with the stop watch.
o Stay quiet as to what you saw, only answer questions asked by the medical personal. o Don’t talk to the coaches or the other wrestler. Silence is your friend here. If you talk to a coach or wrestler it can be misconstrued as favoritism, or worse yet a coach will tell you, “I told you it was illegal, now he is hurt”.
o Have the stop watch brought so you can tell the coach when there is one minute left, 30 seconds and 15 seconds. At that point a determination must be made, as to the continuation or not. If the wrestler using the time stoppage can NOT continue, his opponent will determined the winner.
o Except in the case of the recovery time, if the wrestler uses all the recovery time and CANNOT continue, he is the declared winner. The caveat here is that the injured wrestler may default the match prior to the two minute recovery clock expiring.

There was no stopwatch or giving a 15 second warning. Also, this is a bit vague where it says "At that point a determination must be made, as to the continuation or not." How is that determination made? I have always seen a ref ask, but it does explicitly say that they are required to. I also would think that the wrestler standing, snapping head gear and walking to the center before time expires is a pretty clear indication that they are ready to continue.
 

innoshape

Active member
Ref question:
I read in the NFHS newsletter about problems with retaining referees and/or new referees for various sports in light of Covid. Perhaps a decline even before Covid. With that in mind, considering the cancellations we are seeing for some of the bigger Ohio wrestling tournaments (Ironman, Solon, MIT) do you still think there will still be a shortage of wrestling refs this season in light of the cancellations of these tournaments and also if the trend continues for cancellations? I know we don't have a crystal ball, just wanted your thoughts. Thanks!
 

CoachHoversten

Active member
Ref question:
I read in the NFHS newsletter about problems with retaining referees and/or new referees for various sports in light of Covid. Perhaps a decline even before Covid. With that in mind, considering the cancellations we are seeing for some of the bigger Ohio wrestling tournaments (Ironman, Solon, MIT) do you still think there will still be a shortage of wrestling refs this season in light of the cancellations of these tournaments and also if the trend continues for cancellations? I know we don't have a crystal ball, just wanted your thoughts. Thanks!
I do not believe so. The shortage of officials (for all sports) is mainly due to low pay versus high stress. People will say something like "you get $30/hour" but you are also driving to and from, changing before and after, and preparing (I umpire baseball and spend probably an hour cleaning all my gear the night before a game, making sure all clothes are pressed, clean, and folded/hanging and ready to go"). I do it because I love it and I treat any income from it as "bonus" and don't worry about the money, I don't depend on it for my livelihood or anything.

All that said, the shortage is purely numbers based. For all the schools to wrestle their normal schedule, you want X officials and we only have Y officials certified. Y - X equaling a negative number is the issue.

But now with most schools seemingly going to duals instead of tournaments, you need far fewer officials (1 official can do a dual meet, whereas you need 6 - 8 for a tournament, or more for the real big ones).

So while Y will decrease SOME due to opting out and retirement, X will decrease by a larger amount than Y.

Long story short, I think that the difference between X and Y will be smaller this season than in most seasons.
 

StillNeutral

New member
Ref question:
I read in the NFHS newsletter about problems with retaining referees and/or new referees for various sports in light of Covid. Perhaps a decline even before Covid. With that in mind, considering the cancellations we are seeing for some of the bigger Ohio wrestling tournaments (Ironman, Solon, MIT) do you still think there will still be a shortage of wrestling refs this season in light of the cancellations of these tournaments and also if the trend continues for cancellations? I know we don't have a crystal ball, just wanted your thoughts. Thanks!
I think Coach hoversten hit the nail on the head with the first comment, With the pay versus the abuse officials take nowadays , many feel it is not worth it. Also with the time spent, if i go to a tournament 1 1/2 hour away to be there for a 8am weigh in that means i am up at 530 and will leave the house no later than 630. And that is just getting there, let alone spending all day saturday. One thing ive noticed is job flexibility, who is available to work every weekend , and be able to leave around 3 or 4 to go to a dual during the week.
At my last assoc meeting, they said ohssa has lost 3500 officials this year,(across all sports) now i feel many will return when covid goes away. Many choose not renew since there would be no penalty this year, also with that ohssa had said if you renew and the season is cancelled, they would not refund our fees, that may play a part in at least a few of those officials.
I dont think it will be much of an issue. There are fewer tournaments, which typically suck up all the refs, but there are enough die hard officials that we will be able to cover what is out there. But this season more than any other will need flexibility , many schools will reschedule and pick up and drop teams very quickly, so that i see being one of the larger issues this season. Bottom line with or without covid, we are dealing with a shortage , with fan to official abuse, time spent away from home, constant rule changes and clinics and tests, failure to have advancment , are just a few of the reasons we are loosing officials, i hope it changes soon, there is an answer to all this and i can honestly say i dont have it ,lol
 
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